Indiana men’s tennis was back at home on Friday after two straight weekends on the east coast. Indiana welcomed a 5-7 Illinois State University team into the IU Tennis Center, the Hoosiers first home action since Feb. 19.
“It’s nice to be back home,” head coach Jeremy Wurtzman said postgame. “We’re comfortable here, and we win a lot here.”
The Hoosiers outplayed the Redbirds in every way en route to a decisive 4-0 win.
Indiana made its intentions known early in doubles by winning the doubles point swiftly in less than 20 minutes.
Freshman Ekansh Kumar teamed up with junior Jagger Saylor to win at No. 3 doubles 6-0. It was the first time all season long Kumar and Saylor paired up in a doubles match.
Wurtzman stated postgame the plan was to give some players some different opportunities as the non-conference schedule came to a close.
Fifth-year senior Patrick Fletchall and junior Ilya Tiraspolsky clinched the doubles point for the Hoosiers, winning 6-2 at No. 1 doubles.
“Ilya and I were in a good mood, feeding off each other’s energy,” Fletchall said after the match. “We play better when we’re having fun.”
The Hoosiers have taken the doubles point in 12 out of the first 15 matches of the season, going 10-2 in matches they’ve taken a 1-0 lead in.
“We are confident that we can win most doubles points,” Wurtzman said. “We did a great job of setting the tone and doing it quickly today.”
The Hoosiers took that momentum into singles play where they won three straight matches to secure the win.
The first singles point was won by freshman Sam Landau at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 6-2. Landau is now 8-1 in singles play this year.
“(Sam) got off to a great start and kept it rolling,” Wurtzman said. “He can do everything, there’s really nothing he can’t do on a tennis court.”
Fletchall and Tiraspolsky got the final two singles points for the Hoosiers to secure the 4-0 win.
Fletchall said postgame it felt great to be back in front of the home fans inside the IU Tennis Center.
The Hoosiers are now in the double digits in the win column, standing at 10-5 with just one more match before Big Ten play begins. Indiana travels to the west coast to play against the University of California, Santa Barbara, on Thursday.
“Hopefully we get some sunshine and some good outdoor tennis,” Fletchall said. “I’m excited for that, and we’ll hope for the best out there.”
Indiana has already surpassed its win total from a year ago when the Hoosiers went 6-18.